What are the top choices for practice amps in 2017?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by stalhorse, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a practice amp to use in my apartment in Japan. I don't need anything especially loud, just enough for me to practice in my room and maybe jam quietly with a guitarist. I would like to focus on sound and portability.

    I've been out of the gear loop for almost 5 years, and there's a lot more gear than I can get my head around.

    I used to own a Roland Cube 30 and loved it. I did some searching and there seems to be a new, similar amp by Roland (Cube 20XL) which seems to be getting good reviews. The other one I've been looking at is also by Roland, the Cube RX. It's got good reviews, but it looks like a toy and I'm a bit worried about the sound.

    What are the top choices for my situation? What are the popular practice amps here on Talkbass?

    Recommendation so far:
    • Fender Rumble 25 & 40
    • Mesa Boogie Subway
    • Blackstar Fly 3 Bass
    • Roland Micro Cube Bass RX & Cube 20XL
    • Ampeg BA108, BA110 & BAv2
    • Warwic BC20 & BC40
    • Phil Jones Session 77 & Double Four
    • Ibanes Promethean
    • Eden EC10
    • MarkBass CMD121
    • Gallien Krueger MB108
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. Rumble 40. Built in OD, XLR out for recording, Vintage switch, Bright switch, headphone jack. What more could you ask for?
  3. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    I've noticed there's been some buzz around this amp, it seems like a pretty solid choice! The price is alright too. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look do a bit more research into them!
  4. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    If you want something just for your apartment without pissing off the neighbors, the Rumble 40 is going to be too loud for your needs. You might as well get a Mesa Boogie Subway rig if you wanted something louder than this:

    Canadian APII and stalhorse like this.
  5. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    This was also another amp I was curious about. I like the idea of a tiny amp like this because like you said, I'm a little worried about pissing off the neighbours. It seems really versatile and feature packed for an amp of this size and price. That portability too. Definitely a candidate for my next amp.
  6. I live in Japan. I just got myself a Gk 700rb ii 115 combo amp for practice :p

    I also have a roland micro cube, but usually when I want to practice quietly, especially if was still living in an apartment, I use my pedal board that has 3 leaf audio enabler that has a headphone amp, going into a tube headphone amp to power my sennheiser HD650s.

    I think the roland micro cube is your best bet because it sounds decent, can keep up with a guitar, and has headphone amp built in.

    Picture inside my bustudan.


    edit. Meant to say Roland cube RX. I have taken it to the beach jams here.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  7. Where are you in japan?
  8. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    Oh hey, fellow bassist living in nippon! Damn I can't tell you how jealous i am of your GK setup lol

    Micro cube does look great, it has so many damn features and looks fun to play through. I love the amp simulator on my previous amp too! But that Blackwater fly 3 amp also looks pretty good, at less than 1/3rd the price of the micro cube...

    I think I'll need to try them in person, but I'm definitely interested in anything Roland.
  9. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    Aichi prefecture, you?

    Edit - LOL dat butsudan pic
  10. Far.....I live in Fukui. Japanese don't even know where it's at.

    Just listened to the Blackstar fly 3. Sounds good and it is a lot cheaper!!

    Don't know how it would play with light handed guitar and percussion. No videos on youtube :p I would probably get as first amp though just because I know how thin the walls are here and there is a headphone option.

    The cube Rx does ok with acoustic guitars and a cajon player.
    stalhorse likes this.
  11. I ain't Buddhist, so that's my alter :p
  12. FunkBear


    Jan 2, 2009
    I like my Ampeg BA110 for practicing at home. Fills the room, can keep up with a small guitar amp, has a headphone jack, and aux input (if thats your thing). Maybe you want something smaller, but if not then the BA110 should fill the needs you stated.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    It has a volume control. You can turn it all the way down.

    OP should consider a micro head like the GK MB200 and a separate 1x10 cab.
    Depending on his budget that would be more flexible moving forward if he ever wanted to gig.
    Whatever he gets, having an aux in and an XLR out are definitely features to look for.
  14. stalhorse


    Mar 23, 2017
    I recommend you play some good ol grunge - I hear Buddha is a Nirvana fan
    Nev375 and phangtonpower like this.
  15. Andyroo721


    Apr 25, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I have to agree somewhat... I have a Rumble 25 myself and love it. The 40 was a bit much for me, 25 hit the budget price point and I have been pleased with it ever since.
  16. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i love the micro cube - it's a lot of fun! - but doubt you'll be able to jam with a guitar player unless that player turns WAYYY down or plays a small body acoustic.

    the rumble 40 is a pretty versatile beast. i'd also recommend it. if you don't want to bother the neighbors, turn down the volume, gain and bass. or if you want lots of effects and some pretty nice amp sims, the fender bronco 40 is a nice option with nice lows when you want them, and can be configured using only the dials on the amp for a variety of tones or you can use the fender fuse software to tweak all the settings to JUST the way you want them using your computer.

    btw, i now use an LH500 and GK Neo 112 ll as a practice amp. i've learned how to turn it down and turn down the bass and mids so i can play it even when my husband's asleep in the next room. yeah, it's overkill for a practice amp, but i can also turn up and play with my husband or jam with a group of people.
    bassomane, stalhorse and hopwheels like this.
  17. Micro cube and the Cube rx are different though.

    Edit: Never mind it is the samething. But I disagree with a small body acoustic guitar. It can over power an acoustic player.
  18. The Roland Cube 20XL is a great little amp. My son has one for practice.

    Plus, you can play at night with the "Power Squeezer" and not lose any tone.
    Spidey2112 and stalhorse like this.
  19. rujulian

    rujulian Guest

    Apr 24, 2014
    I had a Blackstar fly bass for a short while. It's really not good..compressor was very noisy. The eq was pointless.. I wanted to like it,but I'd say spend a little extra on the Rumble 40.
    stalhorse likes this.
  20. JohnPaulSmith

    JohnPaulSmith Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Lancaster County, PA
    Rumbles have a headphone jack and an auxiliary input for your mp3 player, phone, whatever. Your neighbors won't hear you. Heck, someone in the same room will barely hear you
    stalhorse likes this.